Thursday, August 24, 2017

Best year ever.

A year ago today, I found out I was pregnant.

I had an in-service meeting at school, and in between our morning and afternoon sessions, we all went to Perkins for lunch. I stopped at CVS before going to lunch and bought a "Clear Blue" test, you know, the one that says "pregnant" for easy affirmation. The test from the day before was a cheapo one with the lines, and was hard to get a good reading.

I remember feeling really excited and weird during lunch.

During the morning session, our principal asked each teacher, "How was your Summer?" "How are you doing?" I really wanted to say, "I think I am pregnant!!" But of course kept calm and said we had a nice Summer working in the garden.

When I got home from school, I couldn't wait to take the test. The longest five minutes of your life is when you're waiting for the results. The word "pregnant" in dark gray letters showed up.

That following weekend, we were going camping at a bluegrass festival in New York. This was our fourth year going. It was a beautiful weekend. Walking around the campgrounds, I imagined what it would be like in subsequent years. We would have a little baby with us! What a strange and amazing thought!

Let's fast forward to today, to this year.

I am holding my sleeping little one, almost four months old.

My husband said this morning that the bluegrass festival is this weekend.
We won't be there. Cecilia is pretty little and my husband has farmer's markets on Friday and Saturday.

He said something else that totally threw me off guard. "It'll only be a few years more that we could go the the festival, since school starts the next Monday..."


Our little one is going up be in kindergarten in a few short years.

I don't think I can handle this.

Please  stay little.
Don't grow too fast.

What a year it has been.

I still catch myself thinking these two things:
"I'm 31 and I have a baby??"

I am in my 30s. That just sounds so old to me. Yes, I know it isn't old. Don't get all offended, please. Thinking about kids going off to college or even thinking about high school and the person I was. That seems like a lifetime ago. About twelve years since high school. Oh, goodness. Why did I have to do that math?

It's official. I am old.

A couple weeks ago, we went out on our first date night sans baby. We went to an Italian restaurant before going to a show, and I was really looking forward to a glass of wine. (I wouldn't have to breastfeed and I even wore a regular shirt!)The waitress didn't card me. Yep, I am old.

I guess Riesling is a more sophisticated beverage choice?

Thinking about the [obvious] fact I am a parent still boggles my mind. I have a little person to take care of. She is helpless. Long gone are the lazy mornings, sleeping in. Baby girl will wake me up and be hungry or need a diaper change. So long to the daily shower. (They are a hot commodity now.)

The positives outweigh it all.

The smiles she gives, the cuddles, her little hand holding tightly to my shirt as she nurses, seeing her grow and develop everyday.

Best year ever. <3

Saturday, August 12, 2017

is homesteading a fancy or a feeling?

I found myself standing at the counter shelling peas yesterday, wearing Cecilia in the ring sling since she was not wanting to nap anywhere else.

As I stood there, trying to catch my stride, breaking the stem, pulling the pea's string and opening the pod just right to slide my thumb down to finesse the peas into the Pyrex bowl, a pea shoots out and hits me and one falls on the floor.

My high school self wouldn't even know me.

It's hard to pin point when I started wanting to seek a more self-sustaining lifestyle. It has been a gradual process, of course. I think it started shortly after I got married. I began baking bread instead of buying it, and volunteered at an organic vegetable farm.

Fast forward seven years and I'm living on a farm, where we have chickens and my husband grows vegetables. It is a slippery slope, my friends.

It took me an hour and ten minutes to shell two gallon bags of peas. The thought that a bag of frozen peas cost $1.49 is insane. Also, insane that I am spending seventy minutes shelling peas, in addition to blanching and freezing them myself. (Of said peas, I only got eight cups of peas, equaling four quart bags of two cups each.) I'm a novice pea sheller, so give me a break. The third bag went a little faster.

My husband and I have been drawn to the homesteading idea for quite a while.

I'm not to the point where I'm weaving the fabric for our homemade clothes from the sheep in the backyard or milking the goats. (Milking goats is more attainable of a goal, but I secretly want sheep... the idea of spinning and dying yarn sounds so magical.)

With a little one in our lives now, I am more driven to keep farming and working the land in the forefront. I want her to know where her food comes from and what responsibility is.  Yes, my husband and I both have smart phones and we own a TV, but I hope that Cecilia chooses to chase barn cats and pick dandelion bouquets over watching a video on some screen.

Oh, but being a new Mama and trying to pick green beans and snow peas... it isn't easy. We have, what we call the "baby pod," that we put Cecilia in. It's a little screened in playpen with dangling toys to keep little ones entertained. I put the baby pod at the end of the garden bed and furiously pick in baskets until I hear her cry. Mostly it's because she's wiggled so much her body is perpendicular to where she was and her head is hitting the side of the pod. I did attempt to pick beans while holding her and, as you can imagine, it went amazingly slow.

The goal of most parents is to make a life for their children better than their own, but my husband and I both had really good childhoods. I remember swimming for hours in our pool and taking really long bike rides on back roads. (I also remember eating lots of Doritos and Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies and watching TRL everyday after school.)

Homesteading is a lesson of patience and hard work, among many other things.

Shelling peas wasn't something I had planned on doing... ever, but the seed company we order from accidently mixed their snap pea seeds with shelling peas. It was a lesson in slowing down and appreciating the time and energy required to enjoy the food. How often do we mindlessly eat, and just shovel food in our mouths because we're bored? Working for our food isn't necessary anymore and an office job doesn't allow us to.

I desire a slower, more intentional life.

I'm still going to want to go out for ice cream and ask for rainbow sprinkles.

I'm not perfect.

And I can guarantee that these peas will be saved for some really special occasions. <3

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Time is flying by

Wow. It has been well over a month since my last post. The days are just flying by. I was so fortunate last month to be able to see my friends from high school two weekends in a row! First weekend was for my baby shower and then for my friend's baby shower the following weekend.

The four of us, have kept in contact over the years and I am so blessed to have them in my life. Our friendship has now entered a new phase- Motherhood. It is amazing to see how we have changed as we have taken on this new role as Moms.

My friend told me that when her husband came home from work and asked her what she did that day, she said, "I have been busy all day, but I can't tell you what I did."

This is so true.

Being home with a baby keeps you busy, but how did the day go by so fast? Where did it go?

Having the responsibility of taking care of a little human is exhausting, but so fulfilling.

In my last post, I talked about balancing things out- tasks on my to-do list, both necessities and desires. I'm still working on that. I think I will be constantly be juggling everything and trying to find time to shower.

I still haven't sewn a dress for Cecilia and I have, unfortunately, missed the window of opportunity. (The dress won't fit her now.)

I have done some other creative projects recently. They have been enjoyable to work on, but it has been more of a challenge since it requires much more time to complete anything.

I crocheted a panda bear for my friend who is having a baby at the end of the month,

I sewed a dress for my friend's baby who just turned one,

and crocheted a cute ski hat for another friend who just had a little one in June.

I am slowly knitting a hat for Cecilia. By this rate it should be done by the time snow flies. I just haven't had the time to sit and work on it. Or if I do have the time, I'm either catching up on dishes, laundry or sitting on the couch trying to catch my breath.

I feel like time is flying by. It's hard to believe it has been three months since my little girl's memorable debut.

Let the adventure continue. <3